Love, food, wine, fashion - many other words comes to mind when you think of Paris. But Paris is so much more.
I've visited Paris many times, but I still can't decide if this city is more beautiful by day or by night.
Until you have experience all the great things this city has to offer, you can never understand the feelings and the place it takes in your heart.
From food to architecture, this place has a lot going for it.
It was Summer 2011, and I was visiting my best friend in Paris. The weather was beautiful, and people were out and about. I spent exactly 10 days, and each of every one of them was memorable. In these few days I had seen, tasted and experienced almost all of Paris.
So if you are planning on visiting this amazing city and don't know anyone around, here are a couple of suggestions of the best things you could do in the capital city of love.
Culture and Art
Know as 'La Ville Lumiere' (The City of Light), Paris is the capital of arts and one of the world's most beautiful cities. It's a city with great cultural and historical richness, and with its monuments, museums and its unique buildings, Paris never stops amazing you. Paris is constantly moving, original and creative which makes it a real dynamic city.
If you like museums and art, you will imperatively need to check out the Louvre Museum. One of the biggest and finest museums in the world.
With over ten themes including Egyptian antiquities, Roman antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculptures and of course, famous paintings, the Louvre will blow your mind. But be prepared to spend a whole day visiting this museum if you want to see the whole thing. Also, 'early bird catches the worm', so wake up early or you will be stuck a thousand-mile queue.
You will also notice and enjoy the many artists and performer in the 'Metro' and around Paris's famous spots. Culture and history is a walk around the block here.
The life and energy of this city is just breathtaking.
Architecture and Landmarks
Paris seems like one of the best-preserved cities in the world with stunning monuments and magnificent historic buildings.
First of all, there are the famous monuments that most people want to see when they come to Paris.
The Eiffel Tower, the iron tower of Paris and the tallest structure of the city, is the first tourist destination. But I must say, I have seen here over 5 times now, and she never ceases to impress me. Then you have the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacré Coeur and of course, Notre Dame de Paris. Each more beautiful than the next.
Don't miss out on this famous Parisian show. If any of you have seen the movie, then you know what I'm talking about.
Since its debut in 1889, the Moulin Rouge has been a cabaret show famous around the world, for its French Cancan.
The Moulin Rouge is always fun, filled with feathers, glitter and diamonds, surrounded with fabulous settings, original music and to top if off the most beautiful girls in the world. The show is on!
Many international stars have performed at this venue, and for the past century this place has welcomed millions of people, so don't miss out.
Now, two other great places my friend made me visit that is a 'must do' but completely different from the cabaret show, are the Pere la Chaise Cemetery and the Catacombs of Paris.
Located in the 20th arrondissement, The Pere La Chaise Cemetery is the burial place of some of the most famous people and is reputed to be the most visited cemetery in the world. Some of the famous people include Jim Morrison, Moliere, Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde. Wilde's is probably the most famous tomb in Père Lachaise. While we were visiting there was, there was a girl who must have been his biggest fan ever visiting his tomb. She was literally crying and had tattoos of some of his famous quotes, and told us all about her adoration for him. Interesting girl but kind of creepy! Anyhow, this cemetery is also a great place to walk around, even have a picnic. Sounds weird, but for a cemetery, it is very alive.
Finally, the Catacombs of Paris, which might be for me the most interesting place I've visited there. Not to sound weird or anything. The Catacombs of Paris, aka the 'municipal Ossuary', were created at the end of the 18th century and holds the remains of about six million people. The bones have been carefully and well placed in renovated sections of old quarries and caverns in Paris's old stone mines. If you are claustrophobic do not do this visit, even though I'm not, it was a bit hard to breath in some areas - the air is thick and it's very cold too. But I enjoyed every bit of the tour.
Food and other French delicacies
Hmmm, French food, what can I say - it's just wonderful. The food culture and diversity in Paris is just amazing. Whether you're looking for the best croissant or pain au chocolat, the best baguette, the best street market, the best macaroons, Paris has it all.
Here's a list for the sweet tooths that you will need to write down and tick off while in Paris. Because you will find the best croissant or baguette anywhere in this city, but some delicacies you just need to know where to find them.
The best macaroons: La Durée. There are some things Parisian love more than anything, and those things are La Durée macaroons. All types of macaroons in Paris have their story and Louis Ernest La Durée created his own when he founded his bakery in 1862. Until today, his bakery has lasted as in one the most renowned bakeries in the world. It still remains an aesthetic experience to visit the one and only La Durée bakery and coffee house in Paris. My favourite macaroons were the orange flower, rose and caramel. Simply delicious!
The best ice creams and sorbet: Berthillon is definitely the number one. People who don't like small scoops should not venture around Berthillon, because if you're in for the quantity rather than quality then you would be wasting your time.
Berthillon's ice creams and sorbets are beyond belief. If you want that little taste of heaven, just cross the bridge behind Notre Dame de Paris, to Ile Saint-Louis, and prepare to taste the best sorbets ever. I know, I went back for a second serving with a different flavour. I had the 'pomme' flavour (green apple) and cassis, they were exquisite.
Other delicious things you can taste around Paris, are French cuisine, French cheese and wine. There is not a region in France that is NOT known for some type of wine. But Paris also has a cultural food mix of other European countries, which are amazing. You can find food from Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt and much more. One of the best amongst these is Lebanese cuisine. Around Notre Dame de Paris, if you have a walk ,you can find many little Lebanese restaurants amongst others. They are very affordable and the portion they serve is just incredible. And Lebanese food is quite healthy and very tasty.
To finish your trip in Paris, you have to have what the French call an 'apero'. But not just any 'apero', an apero on the Seine.
Every night, a lot of Parisians get out of their apartments and enjoy a nice summer night next to the bridges of the Seine.
If you want to have the ultimate Parisian experience, go grocery shopping. Buy yourself a bottle of good wine, some good cheese, some 'saucisson' and of course, a nice warm baguette. Don't forget something to sit on, wine glasses and anything else you might need and head to the bridges of Paris, on the Seine and enjoy a nice evening of food and booze with your friends.